Major Research Effort Saves Prized Oregon Tree
“This is probably the best success story we’ve ever had in overcoming a pathogen of forest trees, which is a very difficult thing to do,” said Everett Hansen, an OSU professor of botany and plant pathology. “At least some of our trees now have complete immunity to this pathogen. Never before have we been able to come this far, this fast. The results are fairly dramatic.”
An attractive tree with white, decay-resistant, fine-grained wood, Port Orford cedar is native to the Coast Range of southern Oregon and northern California. It once was considered the most valuable conifer in North America and was the basis of a $40 million annual export industry.
Those markets, and many or most of the trees, are largely gone now, victims of an invasive fungus called Phytophthora lateralis, which first appeared in this region in the 1950s. Of the trees that were infected, almost 100 percent of them died. From the very few survivors, OSU and Forest Service researchers began a long, painstaking project to identify resistant seedlings, growing and testing them for the ability to survive a challenge by this fungus.
The early returns were looking promising and now scientists say they are confident they have Port Orford cedar trees that are essentially immune to the fungus at least, until the fungus mutates or increases its virulence.
Resistant seed and seedlings for forest use are available through the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Rail Shippers Organize
Western Lumber Output Down 12.2%
Production in the Coast region through October was also down 10.6 percent compared to January- October 2006. Inland output was off 14.9 percent during the same period. Western production during the month of October totaled 1.352 billion board feet, down 15.9 percent from the September total and off 6.3 percent from October 2006.
On the national front, U.S. lumber production through September totaled 26.725 billion board feet, off 12.2 percent from January-September 2006.
NTEA Releases Report Detailing Changing Truck Equipment Industry
“ …the Report does state with certainty that the truck equipment industry is going through some major structural shifts that are and will likely continue creating major changes,” said Jim Carney, NTEA executive director. According to the Report, the key factors impacting the industry are: technology, customers, globalization, consolidation and government. The Report is $149 for NTEA members and $299 for nonmembers. www. ntea.com
AF&PA Hails U.S. China in Combating Illegal Logging